Caloy Loyzaga to be inducted to FIBA HOF

Caloy Loyzaga is now part of the FIBA Hall of Fame.
By Ivan Saldajeno

TIAONG—Caloy Loyzaga, arguably the greatest Filipino basketball player ever, gets his long-awaited recognition in the FIBA Hall of Fame.

FIBA announced on Friday night that Loyzaga has been named to the latest batch of its Hall of Famers.

Loyzaga, who passed away in 2016 at age 85, will be given a posthumous induction in an enshrining ceremony on Aug. 23 at the end of the FIBA Congress, which will take place in the Philippines as part of the FIBA World Cup.

With the six-foot-three center leading the way, the Philippines achieved its best finish in the World Cup when the national team finished third in 1954.

It remains the best finish by an Asian team in the World Cup until today.

Loyzaga is also part of the Philippine team that won four gold medals in the Asian Games and two FIBA Asia Cup championships as well as appearing in two Olympics.

As a coach, Loyzaga led the national team to the 1967 FIBA Asia Cup title, beating then-host country South Korea in the virtual final, 83-80, right on the last day of the event.

The MICAA legend also coached in the PBA, even coaching YCO-Tanduay, his old club basketball team, from 1977-1979 before totally calling it a basketball career.

Loyzaga was part of the first batch of inductees into the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

Six years later, five months following his passing, San Beda, his alma mater that he led to three NCAA titles, formally retired his number 14 jersey.

Joining Loyzaga in the FIBA Hall of Fame is former NBA superstar Yao Ming.

The first overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft not just put China on the NBA map but also inspire other Asian players to try their luck in the league.

The eight-time NBA All-Star was the top scorer in the 2006 FIBA World Cup.

Completing the list of 2023 FIBA Hall of Fame inductees are former players Amaya Valdemoro, Yuko Oga, Penny Taylor, Katrina McClain, Wlamir Marques, Sonny Hendrawan, Angelo Monteiro dos Santos Victoriano, and Zurab Sakandelidze and coaches Valerie Garnier and Alessandro Gamba.

Like Loyzaga, Sakandelidze will be inducted posthumously.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno